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Thread: 30 Non-Americans on normal American stuff they find weird

  1. #76
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    OMG that is one thing i complained about when living in europe. i drink a coke like once every 3 months but every once in a while i get a hankering for coke zero and i have to have it with lots of ice. in europe, most places will bring you a fairly cold coke and a glass, maybe a wedge of lemon. but NO FUCKING ICE. and if you ask for ice, they give you the bitchy side-eye and bring you one dainty little ice cube that melts the second it hits your drink. and everyone knows coke is a drink you have to drink with ice.

    on the other hand, i find it weird that in the US they bring you water with 50 thousand fucking ice cubes in it and it's so cold it freezes your brain and all your vital organs. i like my water room temperature or just a little cold.
    I usually drink soft drinks when out and I have the opposite problem. I don't want ice in my drink and always have to say to the bar staff not to put any in, and some still do.

    Quote Originally Posted by gas_chick View Post
    Ahhhhh the ice cubes! I swear I almost blew a guy in a McDonald's in Italy when he gave me three whole cubes!!!!
    You should have a soft drink from McDonalds over here - it's 3/4 ice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarzy View Post
    ^ Wouldn't you call this a plain omlette?
    That's what we call an omlete! Not scrambled eggs.

    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Why would anyone order a plain omelet in the first place? That's like giving your kid an empty stocking on Christmas. The whole point of an omelet is to put something yummy inside, like cheese or mushrooms or ham, or more cheese or green peppers or onions or even more cheese.
    The Bloke often has stomach troubles so sometimes he's best sticking to plain food, especially early in the day. We think it is yet another complication from his diabetes as pre-diabetes he could eat anything and everything. Now he sticks to very plain breakfast, steers clear of anything greasy and can't handle anything spicier than a mild to medium curry (which is a bitch as I love cooking a nice ring-singe vindaloo), otherwise it's time for the anti-squit pills and prescription strength acid reflux meds.

    But all things considered he loves America, generally thinks the people are great and has some really good friends like Doug, Buzz, Downey (the very incarnation of Quagmire from Family Guy) and others. My experience of American's is limited to the odd tourist and the people I 'meet' on the internet but I like most of you too. We're really hoping to going Stateside for a few weeks together when he hits the next big birthday milestone for a Fear and Loathing road trip (with bat and fly swatter/minus a suitcase full of drugs ).
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  2. #77
    Elite Member stella blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by levitt View Post
    eta: do agree on the college football thing though. First time I saw a college football game televised I was really confused. I didn't realise it was a thing, and that the Heisman was mammoth deal, and it all pooled into the Draft.
    Man, I love college football. Even high school football is a huge deal where I'm from (and that does strike me as a little odd).

  3. #78
    Elite Member stella blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by levitt View Post
    The only time I forgot about the tax was when I was 12 buying swimming goggles and my Dad had only given me enough for the price on the tag. The awkwardness of running squawking through the shop to find my parents still horrifies me to this day.
    My grandmother always gave us $26 for our birthdays - enough for a $25 gift and a buck to pay the tax. One of many endearing things about her.

  4. #79
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Aussie GST (sales tax) is 10% so easy enough to calculate but price tags, menus, quoted prices include GST so what you see is what you pay. I don't understand why it's not common practice in the US but suspect it's partly an old marketing trick to make goods/services appear cheaper. But I'm not complaining, the sales tax in the UK is 20%. Go UK economy!

    And yes, US expats/visitors can be just as vocal in their whinging about life overseas. A family from Idaho moved into our street and they never stopped complaining about how "weird" everything is here. They had great difficulty even understanding the accent. I vividly remember the look of absolute panic on Mrs Idaho's face when I told her we don't have Walmart in Australia. They only stayed 3 months. You could tell they had already decided to hate it from Day 1. Closed minds and absolutely zero sense of humour is a fatal combination.

    I've visited the US several times but only a tiny fraction of the place as a whole (NYC, Florida, West Coast, Montana, Chicago) and didn't find it homogeneous at all except for the junk food opportunities but that's true worldwide. But some of the comments in the OP do ring true and they are said with affection and amusement so it's not America bashing at all. Lighten up bitches.
    HEY! I already said I was being cranky! I'll admit to "liking" accents of others but sometimes find myself saying "wtf did he/she say", I mean it sounds lovely but sometimes even when I understand the words, I'm missing the meaning!
    Quote Originally Posted by Karistiona View Post
    I would really struggle to budget with all that, i feel for your poor people!
    I think it's something you get used to. Or you don't even really think about. I guess IF you think about it, you're mentally always adding 10% just in case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tati View Post
    I thought the post was cute and rather hilarious, and I would love to see a similar one about Canada! I think the US in this case is an "easy target" because it is so big and such a popular destination - so many people from all over the world have visited at one time or another. I mean, I could post a bunch of random things that I found weird about Scotland or Serbia or somewhere, but it likely wouldn't resonate with nearly so large a crowd. People might find it vaguely interesting but not nearly as many would be able to relate.

    I do understand that Mel is referring to a different kind of singling out, and I agree that that is unfortunate, unfair and often unwarranted. This post I thought all in good fun though. I would love to visit Texas, by the way, and am hoping to do so this winter!
    Well, one of the marvelous things about Texas IS the food. You simply MUST find a nice authentic Mexican restaurant... fresh tortillas, spicy green sauce, flautas, chile' rellenos, chips, margaritas, tamales (but only the homemade ones)... Texas gets a lot of unwanted "poking", sometimes deserved, sometimes NOT... people keep blaming Texas for Dubya, but we all know he's a fucking yankee!
    Quote Originally Posted by faithanne View Post
    There are a million things Aussies get shit put on us about - but hey, people still keep coming over so we must be doing something right.

    For example - any man who gets in the back seat of a taxi is un-Australian (unless he's drunk and with a drunk woman and they plan on groping all the way home). A real man - an Aussie man - sits up front with the driver. To do otherwise would imply that you're up yourself.
    hmmm, the only negative I attribute to Aussies are the critters! your big spiders and such... although, given that it's the tiny spiders here that WILL KILL you, that's probably undeserved too!
    Quote Originally Posted by DeChayz View Post
    Uh, what? Pancakes ARE breakfast food. I mean, you can eat them at dinner, but then that's called "eating breakfast for dinner" (which I love anyway)

    Interesting!

    This says a lot to me. They can't judge a country by its (presumably) fast/chain food places. When I go to visit my family down south, all you see for miles is chain joints and junk food. Don't get me wrong, I LOOOOVE me some Bojangles, but there is a limit. Inside 2 weeks, I'm ready to go back home to real Italian, good Chinese, and little mom-and-pop restaurants. Point being, I can see how someone would think that's all the US is, when the vast majority of people I know rarely, if ever, eat fast food. Ditto how everyone thinks my beloved state is all oil refineries and funny smells based solely on what they see driving down the Turnpike.
    oh, honey - reality is quickly changing people's perception of your beloved state!
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    Elite Member stef's Avatar
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    i agree with everyone who said the OP was done in good fun and not meant to be american-bashing at all. i laughed at so many of those things, because those were the exact same things i thought when i visited the US (the gaps in the bathroom stalls, the bread, prices without tax, flags everywhere, ads for lawyers & prescription drugs, getting your drink refilled for free etc.). it's not meant to be insulting at all, it's normal to notice differences (one of the first things i noticed about tunisia is that there were no toilet brushes). i fucking LOVED the US, the country and the people, i've never met such nice people in my life and when someone's bashing "stupid amurricans" in a conversation, i'm the first to defend you.
    "This is not meant to be at all offensive: You suffer from diarrhea of the mouth but constipation of the brain." - McJag

  6. #81
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Now Hear This: Mel is not cranky this morning.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    people talk about the gap in the bathroom stall (and it is annoying to make eye contact with someone walking by your stall) BUT I had to piss in a hole in the floor at a bar in Paris!
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    ^ Ugh that's brought back memories of when I had to do that in France! Trying to squat over a hole for a pee is not cool lol.

  9. #84
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    especially when you've been drinking!
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    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    people talk about the gap in the bathroom stall (and it is annoying to make eye contact with someone walking by your stall) BUT I had to piss in a hole in the floor at a bar in Paris!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarzy View Post
    ^ Ugh that's brought back memories of when I had to do that in France! Trying to squat over a hole for a pee is not cool lol.
    Me too in Japan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    especially when you've been drinking!
    Ugh no shit.
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  11. #86
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Yes, that would be more difficult
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  12. #87
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    I did that in Italy as well. I kept thinking damn I wish I had to shit.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

  13. #88
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    people talk about the gap in the bathroom stall (and it is annoying to make eye contact with someone walking by your stall) BUT I had to piss in a hole in the floor at a bar in Paris!
    In Sydney, Australia, one men's room urinal (in a downtown public restroom area) consisted of a giant stainless steel wall, with a waterfall going over the side. And then you were supposed to stand on a metal grate and urinate against the wall. Not much privacy involved there either. Not sure how common this was in Australia, because I only saw it in Sydney.

  14. #89
    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    I was surprised at how hard it was to get tap water in Scottish restaurants. I often ask for a glass of water with a meal - it's not cheapness but thirst, I may order a drink from the menu/bar as well - but it was like pulling teeth sometimes. Or they would charge you like 10p or something for it. Which was no biggie but a bit of a head-shaker, like it was a fee for the hassle of getting it. Also there was no root beer anywhere (!), and no "normal" peanut butter that I could see - just like Snickers peanut butter and stuff that was mixed with chocolate and marshmallow and thigns! On our first trip, we also didn't realize that juice concentrate (squash) was such a big thing and was sold in bottles of liquid. Over here, we have juice concentrate but it tends to be frozen in cans, or there is powder mix and it's very obvious you have to mix it up. So we bought a bottle or two of what looked like really yummy juice and poured ourselves a nice glass only to be punched in the face with flavour. We soon learned about diluting it with water, but we were camping at the time and didn't have enough on us. So little shots of squash became our power fuel.

    It was also "weird" to us that there was so little security anywhere, but of course this was a pleasant surprise. A lot of places in Scotland seemed to operate kind of on the honour system, like you could set yourself up at a campsite and just stop in to pay before you leave, telling them how many nights you'd stayed and such. A lot of places weren't really locked up at all. The rights of way through farmers' fields I thought was quite nice as well.

    And the people were so amazing. We met one girl working at her mum's café who, when she saw us poring over maps, literally offered to become our tour guide for the day, drove us to Skara Brae and the Standing Stones and spent all afternoon showing us around (she had actually been a professional tour guide). We also got about twenty separate rides while hitching, and everyone we met was pretty much awesome. Also the best caesar salads I've had anywhere.

    A*O, I'm surprised that four-way stops give you pause (er, so to speak...). They make such perfect sense!
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  15. #90
    A*O
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    10p for a glass of tap water. .... Scotland...... Join the dots......
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